“Can I publish a memoir that was written in 1915?”

“Can I publish a memoir that was written in 1915?”

Q –

I have a memoir from a long deceased family member. I received it from my mother (living). And, she received it from her mother (deceased), who received it from her mother (deceased). I have not seen anything in writing about who owns the rights to the manuscript.

That said, the memoir was written in 1915 and the writer died in 1932.

What would I need to be able to publish the work as-is OR to create a new writing that I author using stories from the memoir?

D.N.


A –

If it was written in 1915, it’s in the public domain so you can go ahead and publish it.

In 2021, “unpublished works whose authors died in 1950 will enter the public domain.” You are well within that window.

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